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First up, let’s remember that you are an expert in your field. You have the experience and/or qualification to work in it. So, that needs to be clear.
Now, if someone googles your name and the field you work in – so for me, it might be: Annie Ridout writer, or Annie Ridout online courses – what do they come across?
You get to decide what pops up in that Google search by making sure all the copy on your website and in your social media bios is written in the right way.
Your website copy
Keep it short. Punchy. A few lines, answering each of these questions…
Who are you?
What do you do?
It doesn’t have to be in that order. But you could write a sentence for each then switch around until it flows. It needs to be really clear who you are and what you’re brilliant at.
You might like to open with an accolade. For example:
I’m Kate Smith: an award-winning podcast host and author.
Grazia Magazine described me as ‘one to watch’ in the wellness industry. So, let me tell you more about what I do…
Having trained in person-centred counselling, I know how to ask the right questions. So, what are you finding difficult, right now?
Once these start flowing in, get some quotes up on your site. We are mostly like sheep; if someone else thinks a service is good, we go for it. Especially if they show you’re particularly good in a specific area.
If you don’t already have a blog on your website, start one. This is a great way to grow a following and to boost your SEO. Google loves when websites refresh their content, and blogging is how this is achieved (as opposed to the static ‘about’ page and ‘contact’).
You want people to type a phrase into Google and to come across your website. Anyone looking for one-to-ones with someone in your field needs to quickly find your website – blog headers and written content help to make this happen.
You’re a graphic designer and branding expert who works with female freelancers and business owners. Some of the key words you want appearing on your website would be:
Women in business
So you can include these key words in blog headers, by writing blog posts like:
Why you should hire a graphic designer to do your branding
5 female entrepreneurs who have got their branding just right
Top graphic design tips for start-ups
Each blog post needs to be 300 words+ for Google to pick it up. But you can also include Q&As with other people in your field – a great way to support other business owners, and get a potential link through if they add it to the ‘press’ section of their website. Plus, they’ll hopefully cross-promote on social media too, so you may also get new followers.
Your social media bios
Most of us use social media for both our personal lives and the work stuff. But it is useful to have an account that makes it really clear who you are in the work-sense.
So your bio should make clear what your line of work is, and what you specialise in. Also, have your name in your bio, if it’s not your handle. People will want to search for you by name. Make it easy for them to find you.
And even if you’re just starting out, claim a space in your industry. Make it known that you are working in that field. Don’t worry about what people think. Just get it down, in your bio.
Again, try to answer these questions: who, what, why, where, how.
And if you have a physical location: say where you’re located. Have your address there for everyone to see. Or if you operate in an area – say where that area is.
I was contacted by a beauty shop last year. They wanted to offer me a free treatment. They sent me a DM on Instagram, so I headed to their bio and I couldn’t see where they were based. I had to click through to their website, and go to the ‘contact’ page. If I’d been a paying customer, I wouldn’t have bothered.
Also, with a business account on Instagram, you can have buttons in your bio that make you easily contactable. I have ’email’ but not phone, as I’d prefer people didn’t cold-call me. You can decide what works best for you.
My current Instagram bio (I regularly update it) is:
My bio is professional and straight-to-the-point. You might like to jazz yours up a bit with fun language, or emojis (not really my thing, pointing finger aside) – but make sure it doesn’t become cryptic. People need to glance at your bio and get what you’re about.
Again, opening with any awards you’ve won, special training you’ve had or anything else that makes you stand out in your industry is always good.
Make sure it’s clear on both your website about page and your social media bios that you offer a one-to-one service.
I am now separating my writing work and my online courses/one-to-one work. So ‘Annie Ridout’ (my website: annieridout.com, Instagram: @annieridout) is about writing. And The Robora is about courses and one-to-one work.
Here’s my Robora Instagram bio:
If you offer client work, make it easy for people to see this.
And make sure you have either Linktree set up, or a custom version (so a page built on your website to host the links) and that’s what the link is on your social media bio. Because this means you can link to more than one page.
When you click on my ‘link in bio’, this is what you see.
Then you can click through to my courses, podcast, blog, online courses, mailing list link.
You can use your ‘Stories highlights’ to store Stories you’ve shared on Instagram. So if you’ve shared testimonials – go back and ‘highlight’ them, then create a Stories highlight just for testimonials. And you can change the covers of the highlights to be in-keeping with your branding.
You can see mine in the images above (the different coloured circles under my Instagram bio).
Unlike with your blog posts, the content of your social media posts won’t be picked up so easily by Google. So keep it useful, informative, fun, engaging.
Your posts – on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter – should offer lots of advice, tips, ideas, exercises for your followers.
There’s often a temptation to make every post a ‘sales’ post, just to remind them that YOU HAVE A SERVICE ON OFFER – but it shouldn’t be.
Give away snippets of your knowledge and people will be desperate for more.
For instance, in the lead up to a new course, I’ll give away lots of real nuggets.
So when we were approaching the launch of our How to sell spaces on your online course course, I shared some of the words you should never use in a Facebook ad. This was helpful information, but also showed my followers that I have knowledge on setting up Facebook ads. And that was part of the course content.
If you’re a yoga teacher, and looking for one-to-one clients, you can share videos of you practising certain poses. Or doing breathing exercises.
If you’re a business coach, share an exercise that gets your followers thinking about their business (everyone loves reflecting on themselves).
And don’t be afraid that you are giving ‘too much away’ and so you won’t have anything left to give when they sign up with you. Because you aren’t, and you will. You have so much more. And, crucially, it will be tailored to their exact needs.